NEW YORK CITY-Following the City Council’s vote this past December not to approve the massive Kingsbridge Armory redevelopment project in the Bronx on grounds that the developers refused to guarantee a living wage for employees, city comptroller John Liu has convened a task force to propose best practices for so-called public benefit agreements. “In the absence of clear standards, these agreements will become a problematic bottleneck for future development,” Liu says in a statement.

The Bloomberg administration is reportedly preparing a major study of living wage agreements on publicly subsidized development initiatives, with the New York City Economic Development Corp. slated to issue an RFP for conducting the study in the middle of this month. An EDC spokesperson did not confirm the timeframe for issuing the RFP by the deadline for this article.

Concurrently, the living wage movement is gaining some traction in the City Council, with a bill introduced in February by council member Melissa Mark-Viverito. Listed as Int. 0018-2010, the bill would establish a prevailing wage requirement for building service employees in properties that receive subsidies or rent from the city. It has 31 sponsors currently, including Mark-Viverito.

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